Sticker shock is a real thing, and I know I totally felt it when Phil and I started planning our wedding.
You have no idea how much things cost — and you might be asking yourself why it is so expensive.
I get it.
So why is wedding photography seem so expensive? Because there is a lot more that goes into it than just showing up to photograph your wedding day.
Not sure what I mean?
Let me break it down for you.
Does it seem like a wedding photographer is making $500 per hour when you open up those photography quotes? I mean, they are showing up and photographing your wedding for 8-10 hours …. so how the heck can one person charge $3,000 – $15,000 for a day of work?
Because it isn’t 8 – 10 hours of work. Here is a rough idea of how many hours your wedding photographer is going to spend on just ONE wedding.
- 1 hr : preparing for a consultation
- 1 hr : meeting with the couple for the first time
- 2 – 4 hrs : preparing for the engagement session (packing up gear, driving to the location, driving home)
- 1 – 2 hrs : engagement session
- 5 – 7 hrs : backing up + editing engagement session
- 2 – 4 hrs : general email correspondence throughout the planning process
- 2 – 3 hrs : finalizing wedding timeline + photo requests
- 2 – 4 hrs : prepping for wedding day (charging batteries, packing gear, coordinating team)
- 2 – 4 hrs : driving to wedding
- 8 – 10 hrs : photographing wedding
- 15 – 20 hrs : backing up, culling, editing and sending sneak peeks wedding photos
- 2 hrs : uploading gallery + designing slideshow
- 3 – 6 hrs : album design, ordering prints + usb drive preparation
- 2 – 4 hrs : blogging, uploading to social media and client gifts / notes
TOTAL : 50 – 75 hours
Did you have any idea that your photographer spends nearly 75 hours with every wedding couple?!?! Pretty wild, huh?
Chances are that your photographer isn’t working solo. Most wedding photographers shoot weddings with another photographer and possibly an assistant. If this is the case, that means when you hire a wedding photographer, you are paying for two – three peoples’ salary.
+ PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
I joke with friends that my camera bag is basically a luxury SUV … but it is true. A professional wedding photographer has $15,000 – $40,000 in camera equipment with them. (Hence why their photos look a tad better than your iPhone 11.)
For the first year of my business, I did not have insurance. Yikes! And a lot of photographers or studios just starting out, won’t have insurance. But lemme tell you something.
If you are hiring a professional photographer, they will have business insurance. And chances are, your venue is going to require that your vendors (especially) your photographer has insurance.
+ EXPERIENCE + SKILL
Trust me. I love a good deal more than most people (like snagging Lululemon yoga pants on “we’ve made too much”), but I promise you that your wedding photos are something you do not want to skimp on.
You are going to hear it over and over again (so I hate to say it, but I’m going to anyway…..) …. when your wedding is over, the only thing you will have left outside the beautiful memories in your mind is your wedding photos. They will be the way you remember your wedding day, so rather than picking someone based on price, make sure you hire someone who understands how important YOUR wedding day is to you and that knows how to photograph it beautifully.
Loving my style + vibe? Want to see if we will become fast friends so you can cross finding a photographer of your to-do list? Click here to fill out my contact form or email the studio at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can connect asap, babe!
Looking for more wedding planning advice?
First time to the blog? Hi, I am Brittany, and I am a fine art film photographer specializing in lifestyle wedding and family photography. I travel worldwide photographing beautiful weddings, engagements, and families, and most of the time you can find me in Chicago, Naples (Southwest Florida), and Las Vegas. My light and airy editing style and candid, joyful photos are what I am best known for. Interested in working together? Contact the studio for more information.